How much longer for piloted aircraft?

How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby Tom105 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:10 pm

With regards Qinetic there aircraft are on the military resister so I presume that why they are not under civilian.
Last edited by Tommy on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Note from moderator - posts moved here from RIAT 2018 Discussion thread
Thomas
Tom105

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby harkins on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:20 pm

Tom105 wrote:With regards Qinetic there aircraft are on the military resister so I presume that why they are not under civilian.

Oh right I see. I thought they were going civil registered from a short while back. I believe they do operate under military aviation rules but then so do HHA.
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Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby Tom105 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:23 pm

harkins wrote:
Tom105 wrote:With regards Qinetic there aircraft are on the military resister so I presume that why they are not under civilian.

Oh right I see. I thought they were going civil registered from a short while back. I believe they do operate under military aviation rules but then so do HHA.

Appears you may be right the H125 is civil registered at Cosford, I only looked at 109 from last year and that is on the military register.
Thomas
Tom105

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby harkins on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:48 pm

As they’ve retired aircraft such as the Alpha Jets which were mil, it looks like all new acquisitions have been civil registered. The PC-21 in Switzerland currently has a Swiss civil reg too. Not sure if it will retain that once at Boscombe Down though. I’m totally sure all the staff are civilian too. I can understand historically that they’re considered military but it’s getting tenuous.
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Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby verreli on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:02 pm

There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.
verreli

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby boff180 on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:05 pm

verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.

Which still require test pilots....
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Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby Ouragan on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:13 pm

verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.


For an institution 'in its death knells' ETPS is receiving a lot of investment in terms of new aircraft. There may not be the numbers of students that there once used to be, but I think the need for test pilots and engineers will be with us for quite a few years yet. Besides, ETPS does not just train military personnel:

http://www.etps.qinetiq.com/faq/Pages/default.aspx
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Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby verreli on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:15 pm

boff180 wrote:
verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.

Which still require test pilots....


No they don't. They require engineers.
verreli

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby verreli on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 7:22 pm

Ouragan wrote:
verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.


For an institution 'in its death knells' ETPS is receiving a lot of investment in terms of new aircraft. There may not be the numbers of students that there once used to be, but I think the need for test pilots and engineers will be with us for quite a few years yet. Besides, ETPS does not just train military personnel:

http://www.etps.qinetiq.com/faq/Pages/default.aspx


There will be a transition period for the next 40 years or so but I'd be surprised if there were trained test pilots after that. Maybe, just maybe for large airliners but from 2060, I'm not even sure if those new designs will be crewed. Time will tell.
verreli

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby Paul_Reflex on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 8:57 pm

verreli wrote:
boff180 wrote:
verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.

Which still require test pilots....


No they don't. They require engineers.


Test pilots are engineers.
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Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby verreli on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:36 pm

Paul_Reflex wrote:Test pilots are engineers.


True. Some of the best pure aeronautical engineers I've met / know are test pilots. I'd go as far to say that what they learn at ETPS is beyond what you learn on a standard aeronautical engineering degree course. In future they'll be no need for the piloting skill bit so you may as well call them flight test engineers.

Comments above are right though. This has nothing to do with RIAT so I shall comment no further.
verreli

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby Go4Long on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:47 pm

verreli wrote:
Paul_Reflex wrote:Test pilots are engineers.


True. Some of the best pure aeronautical engineers I've met / know are test pilots. I'd go as far to say that what they learn at ETPS is beyond what you learn on a standard aeronautical engineering degree course. In future they'll be no need for the piloting skill bit so you may as well call them flight test engineers.

Comments above are right though. This has nothing to do with RIAT so I shall comment no further.


Manned aircraft are still likely here for at least one and probably two more generations of fighter aircraft, and maybe even beyond that, and even then not every country will switch to unmanned platforms any time in the near or distant future.
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How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 12:53 am

Over on the RIAT thread, a discussion started on the future need for test pilots. This is linked directly with unmanned flight and I'm interested in your point of view. Here's mine:

Military:
In the early days of military aviation an air to air kill was achieved by skilful energy management to achieve a position roughly line astern. That evolved in the jet age to distances beyond visual range and forward aspect but the pilot who managed his energy best after the merge would still usually win. That was the Top Gun era. We are now fighting with smart off boresight weapons where in a dogfight, all participants are likely to die unless timely / lucky use of countermeasures is used. The battle is more about positioning your weapons delivery platform and deploying weapons than classic dogfighting. In the next 10 years, deep machine learning AI will be able to achieve autonomously a better solution than a human pilot, be able to position its platform strategically and deploy countermeasures more timely. In short, if you are a human against an AI platform you will likely be killed.

For this reason I believe there will be no more manned fighter / bomber aircraft. The F35 will be the last so when it retires from service in c.2055 manned military tactical aircraft will end. The human in the loop will be a commander, remotely located from the battlefield, issuing instructions to a fully autonomous entity. No manned aircraft = no need for test pilots.

Civil:
A new era is dawning in civil aviation but it's waiting for technology to arrive. That technology is energy dense batteries and deep machine learning AI. Both these technologies will mature in the next decade and it will usher in a new era of medium range air transport (20-200 miles). In the UK alone there will be a need for around 300,000 vehicles. Compare this number with 40,000, the amount of the most populous aircraft ever made - C-172. These aircraft will be fully autonomous. There is no way to have this number of aircraft operating safely without man being OUT of the loop. This market will mature in the 2030's.

As for long range aircraft 200+ miles, there will be more resistance to taking man out of the cockpit due to the numbers of people on board but over time acceptance of the ongoing safety record of the short range 1-6 seat aircraft will mean this becomes inevitable too. This is probably going to be in the 2050's.

So my conclusion is that in around 40-50 years time there will be few, if any, human pilots remaining and test pilots will be history.
verreli

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby Tommy on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 6:27 am

I've moved the stuff here from the 2018 discussion thread to keep things clean, and all in one place. I don't have time to PM everyone explaining it. Hopefully it should be obvious, but if curious about any deletions, then drop me a message.

Cheers to Verreli to starting the separate topic itself. :up:
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Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby MiG_Eater on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 8:07 am

I think the idea of remotely piloted aircraft is interesting - but we've been here before (in 1957). All it would take is some convincingly effective jamming technology and these aircraft would be utterly scuppered. Surely this technology is already being worked on, so I can't see pilots being done away with entirely for a very, very long time - if ever.

The only way it could happen is if these warplanes are *not* remotely piloted but become fully autonomous. The issue with that though is that I, and many many others, find the idea of a computer deciding who to kill - or not - very unpalatable indeed.
MiG_Eater

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:35 am

MiG_Eater wrote:I think the idea of remotely piloted aircraft is interesting - but we've been here before (in 1957). All it would take is some convincingly effective jamming technology and these aircraft would be utterly scuppered. Surely this technology is already being worked on, so I can't see pilots being done away with entirely for a very, very long time - if ever.

The only way it could happen is if these warplanes are *not* remotely piloted but become fully autonomous. The issue with that though is that I, and many many others, find the idea of a computer deciding who to kill - or not - very unpalatable indeed.


Remotely piloted aircraft are what we have now. The MQ-9 is an example and is an effective platform in an uncontested environment. We have this now because technology isn't yet available for the next step. It has its drawbacks. Jamming is one.

We already have smart weaponry. A cruise missile, air to air missile or even a dumb bomb is autonomous when the trigger is pressed.

What deep machine learning AI will achieve is the ability to respond and adapt within certain parameters but with decisions made in real time. i.e. rather than fly a waypoint to waypoint route it will determine the most tactically optimised route and not be constrained by human physiology. This is potentially better than a human pilot can achieve. You can still build in protocols that weapon release is only done following remote authorisation. This is far harder to jam because the command comes from a short duration burst of encrypted frequency hopping comms.
verreli

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby MiG_Eater on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:45 am

I'm aware that we currently have remotely piloted aircraft - I can see why my post didn't make that clear, but i'm really referring to them becoming ubiquitous.

Your post is interesting - particularly the point about a short burst of encrypted information - however, I can see all kinds of interesting issues arising, particularly things like aircraft being "hacked" and hijacked from their original operators. Assuming some level of remote-access exists, this will always be a risk.

Time will tell, but cyber security is about to get much more complex with the advent of quantum computing.
MiG_Eater

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby Berf on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:47 am

verreli wrote:Over on the RIAT thread, a discussion started on the future need for test pilots. This is linked directly with unmanned flight and I'm interested in your point of view. Here's mine:

Military:
In the early days of military aviation an air to air kill was achieved by skilful energy management to achieve a position roughly line astern. That evolved in the jet age to distances beyond visual range and forward aspect but the pilot who managed his energy best after the merge would still usually win. That was the Top Gun era. We are now fighting with smart off boresight weapons where in a dogfight, all participants are likely to die unless timely / lucky use of countermeasures is used. The battle is more about positioning your weapons delivery platform and deploying weapons than classic dogfighting. In the next 10 years, deep machine learning AI will be able to achieve autonomously a better solution than a human pilot, be able to position its platform strategically and deploy countermeasures more timely. In short, if you are a human against an AI platform you will likely be killed.

For this reason I believe there will be no more manned fighter / bomber aircraft. The F35 will be the last so when it retires from service in c.2055 manned military tactical aircraft will end. The human in the loop will be a commander, remotely located from the battlefield, issuing instructions to a fully autonomous entity. No manned aircraft = no need for test pilots.

Civil:
A new era is dawning in civil aviation but it's waiting for technology to arrive. That technology is energy dense batteries and deep machine learning AI. Both these technologies will mature in the next decade and it will usher in a new era of medium range air transport (20-200 miles). In the UK alone there will be a need for around 300,000 vehicles. Compare this number with 40,000, the amount of the most populous aircraft ever made - C-172. These aircraft will be fully autonomous. There is no way to have this number of aircraft operating safely without man being OUT of the loop. This market will mature in the 2030's.

As for long range aircraft 200+ miles, there will be more resistance to taking man out of the cockpit due to the numbers of people on board but over time acceptance of the ongoing safety record of the short range 1-6 seat aircraft will mean this becomes inevitable too. This is probably going to be in the 2050's.

So my conclusion is that in around 40-50 years time there will be few, if any, human pilots remaining and test pilots will be history.



But there will be pilots-aircraft-test pilots for general aviation flying in uncontrolled airspace.
Berf

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 12:09 pm

Berf wrote:But there will be pilots-aircraft-test pilots for general aviation flying in uncontrolled airspace.


Ah, now we're getting to the crux of the matter.

As a recreational pilot I have a vested interest in the status quo. What I'm saying though is that in the future there will be no general aviation as we know it now. The tiny GA market will be replaced by a multi billion pound transport industry where it would simply be unsafe for humans to be integrated. For those that want a personal aircraft, there will be an AI system between the pilot determining the action and how the aircraft flies. Not too dissimilar from fly by wire but with all decision making delegated. i.e. there will be no piloting skill required and therefore no test pilot required. The testing of the aircraft will be conducted by engineers.

As for airspace. It will change. We need controlled airspace now because of the fallibility of humans. As numbers increase a traditional air traffic control system would be unable to cope, hence the need for AI. Rules would still exist though. I think something like the quadrant rule will be formalised. All this thinking still needs to be done although NASA are already taking the first steps.

I'm unsure if the UK will lead this change. If I was a betting man I'd say we won't. Civil servants have a vested interest in obstructing and frustrating change but the countries with vision will roll it out and there will come a point in the future where the UK will inevitably follow. I hope the UK has more vision.

To some, this may sound like science fiction, but others will realise how close we are. A couple of decades is not far away.
verreli

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 12:33 pm

I'm genuinely interested in others ideas / points of view, especially if presented with rationale. I don't have a monopoly on guess work.
verreli

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby Berf on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 1:29 pm

verreli wrote:
Berf wrote:But there will be pilots-aircraft-test pilots for general aviation flying in uncontrolled airspace.


Ah, now we're getting to the crux of the matter.

As a recreational pilot I have a vested interest in the status quo. What I'm saying though is that in the future there will be no general aviation as we know it now. The tiny GA market will be replaced by a multi billion pound transport industry where it would simply be unsafe for humans to be integrated. For those that want a personal aircraft, there will be an AI system between the pilot determining the action and how the aircraft flies. Not too dissimilar from fly by wire but with all decision making delegated. i.e. there will be no piloting skill required and therefore no test pilot required. The testing of the aircraft will be conducted by engineers.

As for airspace. It will change. We need controlled airspace now because of the fallibility of humans. As numbers increase a traditional air traffic control system would be unable to cope, hence the need for AI. Rules would still exist though. I think something like the quadrant rule will be formalised. All this thinking still needs to be done although NASA are already taking the first steps.

I'm unsure if the UK will lead this change. If I was a betting man I'd say we won't. Civil servants have a vested interest in obstructing and frustrating change but the countries with vision will roll it out and there will come a point in the future where the UK will inevitably follow. I hope the UK has more vision.

As a pilot you will know the CAA has a duty to take account of all airspace users. I cannot see that going away unless the pilots such as yourself want it. While there may be increased controlled airspace in some areas or indeed perhaps UAV corridors at lower altitudes there will still, in my opinion, be large areas of uncontrolled airspace. With more direct routings I do not see a need for 'big industry' to require the use of all airspace. Try telling that to AOPA in the USA! :-) Of course there is a bigger question for humanity with AI. How far do we want everyday tasks 'taken away' from us before we become virtually useless! :-) There will a balance, for example I would only be too happy for my car to be autonomous (assuming the system are proved to be safe) around the M25 and up the motorway as for me there is no satisfaction or enjoyment. That changes when it goes onto smaller roads. Doe that make it less safe on the smaller roads - maybe but it will be for humans to decide what risk is acceptable.

To some, this may sound like science fiction, but others will realise how close we are. A couple of decades is not far away.
Berf

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 4:45 pm

Berf wrote:As a pilot you will know the CAA has a duty to take account of all airspace users. I cannot see that going away unless the pilots such as yourself want it. While there may be increased controlled airspace in some areas or indeed perhaps UAV corridors at lower altitudes there will still, in my opinion, be large areas of uncontrolled airspace. With more direct routings I do not see a need for 'big industry' to require the use of all airspace. Try telling that to AOPA in the USA! :-) Of course there is a bigger question for humanity with AI. How far do we want everyday tasks 'taken away' from us before we become virtually useless! :-) There will a balance, for example I would only be too happy for my car to be autonomous (assuming the system are proved to be safe) around the M25 and up the motorway as for me there is no satisfaction or enjoyment. That changes when it goes onto smaller roads. Doe that make it less safe on the smaller roads - maybe but it will be for humans to decide what risk is acceptable.


You make some good points if you think from the perspective of society today. Consider this...

When I grew up in the countryside and hit 17, getting a driving licence gave me freedom so was a must have. If you are born today, by the time you are 17 you will be able to order a fully autonomous vehicle on demand to chauffer you to your mates party. The cost of getting a driving licence, let alone a car with insurance will be huge so someone born today will not ever experience the thrill of driving. It simply won't be necessary. Progressively cars will only come with a fully automated solution as those with drivers licenses die out. The same will be true of pilots. In the last few decades there are fewer and fewer people at the flying club and the average age gets ever higher.

If you look into the sky right now how many aircraft do you see? I'm guessing very few unless you live close to an airport. Now imagine a sky with 100, all travelling to different destinations, and repeat that all over the country. The airspace will be uncontrolled in the sense that ATC aren't giving vectors but will be defined as to what you can do within that airspace with ever greater restriction as numbers dictate. The CAA or EASA will have to evolve and that will mean change from what we have now. Look at the MQ-9B coming to RIAT - That isn't restricted to 400ft. The significance of this event in the UK is perhaps lost and demonstrates that even in the CAA, change can happen. The USA is far ahead of us in terms of preparation. The FAA is already making plans. AOPA is a strong lobby today but will weaken in time as the new market evolves and a different lobby emerges. It's not going to be straight forward but it is inevitable. I also note progress in China and India. The two most populous nations on the planet.
verreli

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 6:02 pm

verreli wrote:
boff180 wrote:
verreli wrote:There isn't much future military test flying to do so as prestigious as ETPS is, it's in its death knells. Semi and fully autonomous vehicles are the future, both military and civilian.

Which still require test pilots....


No they don't. They require engineers.


And aircrew who are suitably qualified to legelly operate the air vehicle(s) in the type of airspace they need to operate in... ...Normally called pilots. Much as people seem to think they'll disappear, they won't just yet. Remember in the 1950s the world was convinced the human pilot would be obsolete within a generation. Oh how the world hasn't and in all probability wont' change in most aircraft requiring pilot input.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RIAT 2018 discussion

Postby verreli on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 7:30 pm

GertrudetheMerciless wrote:And aircrew who are suitably qualified to legelly operate the air vehicle(s) in the type of airspace they need to operate in... ...Normally called pilots. Much as people seem to think they'll disappear, they won't just yet. Remember in the 1950s the world was convinced the human pilot would be obsolete within a generation. Oh how the world hasn't and in all probability wont' change in most aircraft requiring pilot input.


In the 1950's technology wasn't available to remove the pilot from the loop. It still isn't today, hence all the crews sitting in portacabins at Creech AFB. In 10 years or so technology will be mature enough to replace pilot decision making. From that point there will be ever fewer piloted aircraft designed.

To demonstrate my point, the DARPA competition winning Lightning strike was tested recently. This is how things will be done in the future. See below video at 26s. Where's the test pilot? Is he the one in the drivers seat or one of the three dudes with laptops?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgWSuZbGh0s
verreli

Re: How much longer for piloted aircraft?

Postby phreakf4 on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 8:27 pm

Verelli, I think you have a little too much faith in IT. The technology you espouse has been promised for (literally) decades but seems to be not much closer now other than in very controlled laboratory conditions. One need only look at the recent failures of "autonomous" road vehicles (or indeed the recent TSB fiasco and numerous other examples of disastrous IT "upgrades") to see that. I recall being told by "experts" in the 1960s and 1970s that "Work will no longer exist by the year 2000; all the work will be done by machines....."


Similarly we have been promised "staggering" advances in battery energy density which have, so far, not appeared in anything more than theory. Also as has been stated by a previous poster, in the military application of such technology the moral implications of delegating responsibility for a "kill" order to an AI are a very murky area.

Lastly, without a truly effective and efficient IT system in place it is obvious that the kind of "personal air transport" (translation "flying car") which you suggest is coming would result in casualty rates which would make today's traffic look positively benign. Besides, the reason there are relatively few young pilots is because most younger people have more pressing things on which to spend their hard-earned income.
nothing is confirmed at a show until it's u/c hits the tarmac or it's running in for it's display.....
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